Tuesday MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Philadelphia Phillies

Rodney K

The LosAngelesDodgers and PhiladelphiaPhillies are both right at the top of their respective divisions.  The Dodgers, NL pennant winners from a year ago, were expected to be here. For the Phillies, many think they might be ahead of schedule.  Regardless, they are both playing good ball and if Monday’s 7-6 Dodgers’ win was a sign of things to come, this should be a good series. The two will continue the series Tuesday when the Dodgers (56-44) travel to Citizens Bank Park to take on the Phillies (55-44). The Dodgers will be sending righty Kenta Maeda (7-5, 3.12 ERA) to the mound to oppose the Phillies’ Aaron Nola (12-3, 2.30 ERA).  First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm ET

The moneyline for Tuesday’s game is set at the Los Angeles Dodgers -108 andthe Philadelphia Phillies -102.  The over/under for runs scored is set at 7.5.

Dodgers Look To Keep NL West Lead In Check

           With only 5.5 games separating the top four teams in the NL West, the Dodgers know that they will have work to do down the stretch to make sure they are division winners.  They recently helped their cause when they picked up All-Star Manny Machado. Acquired from the Orioles, Machado has been impressive in his first handful of games with the Dodgers.  Since his acquisition he is batting .333/.400/.500 with a .900 OPS with the Dodgers. Over the course of the full season, he has 24 home runs, 66 runs batted in and has scored 50 runs.  With Justin Turner having just been put on the disabled list, the acquisition of Manny Machado has been all the more important for L.A.

 On the rubber, manager Dave Roberts will be sending out Kenta Maeda.  On the season, Maeda is 7-5 with a 3.12 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and opponents are hitting .227 against him.  In 86.2 innings pitched, he has 108 strikeouts and 32 walks. In his last outing, a 4-2 win over the Padres, Maeda went 5.2 innings, giving up 1 earned run and striking out 9.  In fact, in his last three starts he has struck out 9 in each one.

Phillies Look To Stay Tough In NL East

Currently, the Phillies are tied with the Braves for first in the NL East and hope to be able to take control of the division outright. Like the Braves, Philadelphia is seen as “ahead of schedule,” but a large part of their success has been pitching, especially that of AaronNola.  Tuesday’s starter has gone 12-3 with a 2.30 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and opponents are hitting just .199 against him. In 129 innings, he has struck out 131 and walked just 35. In his last outing, Nola took the loss against Miami, going 6 innings, giving up 2 runs and striking out 5. In his previous two starts before that one, both wins, he had gone a combined 14 innings, striking out 19 and allowing only 1 earned run. Needless to say, the Phillies like their chances when he is on the mound.

Offensively, Odubel Herrera continues to put up a nice season.  He is batting .280/.330/.472 with a .802 OPS. He has 18 home runs, 56 runs batted in and has scored 50 runs.  Another player having a nice season is Rhys Hoskins. He is batting .252/.362/.477 with a .839. He has also added 17 home runs, 64 runs batted in and has scored 54 runs.  

Phillies Even The Series On Tuesday

I actually like both pitchers in this matchup.  Nola has been lights out all season and Maeda has not allowed more than three runs in a start since the middle of May.  In terms of prior success, there has been a little more on the side of the Phillies’ offense. While there isn’t anyone who has had consistent success against Nola, there are a couple of Phillies hitters who have had some success against Maeda.  

CesarHernandez is batting .444 against him with a home run. Nick Williams is 2 for 3 against him, but both hits were home runs. Really, though, I expect this to be a pretty close game, and much more of a pitcher’s duel than Monday (there were a combined 8 home runs hit Monday).  If putting money on a pitching duel between Maeda and Nola, I have to go with Nola. Take the Phillies -102.

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